SAN FRANCISCO—Chief Justice Tani G. Cantil-Sakauye has named experienced legislative staffer, Cory Jasperson, to lead the judicial branch’s legislative and executive advocacy efforts as the new director of the Office of Governmental Affairs for the Administrative Office of the Courts (AOC).
Jasperson was recommended by a Judicial Council search committee led by Supreme Court Associate Justice Marvin R. Baxter. Jasperson currently serves as Chief of Staff to Senator Joe Simitian (D-Palo Alto) and will begin his new role on Dec 3. He replaces Curt Child, who became the AOC’s Chief Operating Officer on Oct 1. He will report directly to the Administrative Director of the Courts Judge Steven Jahr (Ret.)
As the chief advocate for the Judicial Council, Jasperson will be based in Sacramento and will represent the judicial branch on legislative, policy, and budget matters. His office will support the implementation of the Judicial Council’s legislative agenda as well as monitor and review legislation affecting the California court system.
“The search committee was very impressed with Cory Jasperson’s personal attributes, professional experience, and outstanding reputation he has earned in the Capitol,” said Justice Baxter, a member of the Judicial Council of California and chair of its Policy Coordination and Liaison Committee. “We are confident that he will lead the Office of Governmental Affairs with great distinction.”
Judge Jahr said he was looking forward to working with Jasperson. “Cory is well-respected in the Capitol. He is a quick study and has an open, collaborative approach to problem solving that I believe will benefit the judicial branch, now in its fourth year of budget cuts.”
Jasperson has worked in the Capitol for the last 12 years in both the Assembly and Senate. He was responsible for managing and coordinating legislative agendas, including service as Chief of Staff to the Assembly Speaker pro Tempore and Chief of Staff to the Chair of the Senate Environmental Quality Committee. He was instrumental in the drafting and passage of well-known legislation to increase California’s minimum wage, make human trafficking a crime, limit the use of ‘gay panic’ strategies by criminal defendants, equalize revenue limit funding for school districts, establish the San Francisco Bay Restoration Authority, and change the kindergarten entry-age, which created a new, transitional kindergarten grade-level—the state’s first new grade-level since 1891.
“I’m eager to begin work on behalf of the judicial branch,” said Jasperson. “I strongly believe that our democracy requires a vibrant and independent judiciary to provide access to justice for all Californians. At the same time, I am acutely aware of the challenges faced by all three branches because of the state’s fiscal crisis.”
Before joining the Legislature in 2000, Jasperson worked at the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors, Stanford University, and the Greenlining Institute, a statewide multi-ethnic public policy and advocacy center. He has a BA in International Relations from the University of California, Davis.